This week has been a tough one, as far as Hateful Comments Gone Viral (via the Internet and social media) are concerned. Head Duck Phil Robertson’s diatribe about gays and blacks made headlines (weblines?) worldwide, and just this morning PR (ironically enough) executive Justine Sacco of media company IAC shooed the ducks from the spotlight for a moment with her odious tweet about AIDS and Africa. If that weren’t enough, the voice of the United Methodist Church spoke clearly this week when it defrocked (what an ugly-sounding word) UM Minister, the Rev. Frank Schaefer, who officiated at his son’s marriage … to another man. (He refused to change his position on gay marriage.)
Our individual mouths, as well as our institutional ones, and the words sputtering forth from them, can produce such joy one moment and such misery the next. I certainly know that bridling my tongue is one of my greatest challenges.
Here’s my Sunday Morning Quote:
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
I love Assisi’s ancient Prayer for Peace:
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
–St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)
Let us set intentions this season to speak that which brings forth love and joy! And let’s encourage our institutions to do the same.